3 A Mild-Mannered High School Educator With Cancer Becomes a Meth Dealer
In Breaking Bad, the dad from Malcolm in the Middle takes the darkest career turn since Patty Hearst by playing a high school chemistry teacher named Walter White who finds out he has cancer and starts cooking meth. That's as far as we've watched the show (no spoilers!), but we're pretty sure that lovable, goofy old Walt will ultimately realize the error of his ways and adopt poor lost Jesse into his family, where they will both live happily ever after.
"We already have a breakfast son, Jesse, but you can be our dinner one."
The Real Version:
We've already covered the time a real-life tweaker named Walter White was arrested for selling meth. That's pretty weird, but it's just a name, and a fairly common one at that. It was almost bound to happen. It's the premise of Breaking Bad that's outlandish. Mild-mannered teacher turning to a double life of drug dealing because of a serious illness? That's the type of overwrought drama that happens only on TV.
Unless you're Stephen Doran.
Although he was battling cancer and undergoing treatment, everybody thought that the hardest problems Doran faced during his workday were algebraic in nature. That's until a kilo of meth from his side job as a drug dealer was accidentally sent to the same building where he helped shape the minds of our children.
Really, it was as much a Malcolm plot as it was a Breaking Bad one.
Where TV's Walter White would have saved himself at the last minute by poisoning a couple of kindergartners to distract everyone, Doran got caught, and the cops eventually found over $50,000 worth of meth hidden at his house. The school pointed out that he was not a teacher, like White, but a tutor. Clearly that distinction makes all the difference.
2 Germs from Outer Space Infect a Remote Town
The '70s sci-fi classic The Andromeda Strain tells us space is packed with deadly germs, like a zero-G version of Australia. When a military satellite crashes in a small Western town, it infects a bunch of people with a space-plague that causes all their blood to clot. There are even sinister hints that this might be the work of the government.
The strain eventually fails due to unforeseen factors, so yeah, probably government work.
The Real Version:
But there's no such thing as space germs, right? The people of the remote Peruvian town of Carrancas probably disagree. In September 2007, a meteor crashed there, and people visiting the site got sick, complaining of headaches, vomiting, nausea, and (we're guessing) at least one spontaneous phallus monster bursting out of someone's chest. The sickness was originally attributed to the fumes the meteor gave off, but the official explanation was that the crash simply stirred up the sulfur and arsenic in the town's soil. So ... they were just living on a block of poison all this time with no consequences? Good cover story, Men in Black.
"And all your hemorrhoids are due to a low-fiber diet, not repeated nighttime anal probings."
Why are we suspicious? In September 2006, just a year before the Carrancas plague, NASA scientists brought back some germs they'd sent to space to test the effects space travel has on salmonella. When they tested the strains on mice, they found the germs were 300 percent deadlier than their earthbound counterparts.